In 2002, Mike Mix Productions compiled 13 songs by female artists (including a Weezer song with Rachel Haden as the special guest vocalist). Much to the chagrin of Jillian Yawney, friend of MiKenzie Inc.'s founder, the compilation was given the progressive title "Chick Mix." Just a year later, Chick Mix II hit the shelves. Apparently, it took Mike Mix Productions seven more years to accumulate enough quality female music to compile the third installment in the Chick Mix series. I suppose we should be grateful that they didn't just throw any old crap on there, like Lady Gaga or Ke$sha. Anyone remember Kylie Minogue and Shania Twain providing filler on Chick Mix II? Or how about the weird no-name indie crap recommended by Chazz Lowman Studios?
Anyway, here are my thoughts on Chick Mix III. The song titles are linked to videos for the songs.
Turn Into by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This is probably the most mainstream song ever recommended by MiKenzie Inc.s' cousin company, Chazz Lowman Studios. One of Yeah Yeah Yeahs more melodic songs. A nice, softish intro to the album.
Hard Line by Jill Barber
Who? Good song, though.
The Freest Man by Tilly and the Wall
The name of the album this is from is called "Bottoms of Barrels," which is fitting, because Mike Mix is really scraping the bottom of Chazz Lowman's indie barrel looking for music to add to Chick Mix. For the five or six people who have actually heard of Tilly and the Wall, you know that they're known for using a tap dancer as percussion. So, of course, Mike Mix chose a Tilly and the Wall song that doesn't prominently feature any tap dancing. I think there might be a little bit in there. Well, at least they didn't use one of the songs that the dude in the band sings.
Encircle Me by Tegan and Sarah
I like Tegan and Sarah because they're musicians from Alberta who have made a decent living for themselves without being country stars, classic rock tribute bands, or Nickelback. The song "Encircle Me" was most likely chosen by Mike Mix Productions because Matt Sharp, former base player for Weezer and lead man for The Rentals, had a hand in producing this song. This is evident from the Moog synthesizer prominently used in the song.
Nothing & Nowhere by Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Emily Haines is the lead singer of Metric, which has featured prominently in Mike Mixes in the last few years. This is from her solo album, which takes Emily's hauntingly beautiful voice and soulful lyrics and strips away all of the happiness and fun, upbeat sounds of Metric.
Lucky Me by Sarah Slean
Ah, Sarah Slean. The poor man's Sarah McLachlan. If Sarah McLachlan was quirky, that is. (She's not.) You know, now that I think about it, their music sounds nothing alike. I think I make a connection between the two because they're both artsy female Canadian solo musicians named Sarah. By the way, I'm talking about Fumbling Towards Ecstasy Sarah McLachlan, not Afterglow Sarah McLachlan. And look at that! I just spent my review of Sarah Slean talking mostly about Sarah McLachlan. I rock!
Run Baby Run by Garbage
Garbage (the band) was huge in the late '90s, especially their album 2.0. Heck, I even heard one of their songs while I was in the Philippines, and they hate good music in the Philippines! "I Think I'm Paranoid" was included in the video game Rock Band. Huge in the '90s! And so Mike Mix used a song from their 2006 album "Bleed Like Me." Why not use a song from 2.0? True, you included "Queer" on the original Chick Mix, but that wasn't from 2.0. Weird.
For What It's Worth by The Cardigans
Remember the modern remake of Romeo & Juliet from 1996 starring young Leonardo Decaprio and Claire Danes? Remember the song "Love Fool" from the soundtrack that was a huge hit by a band that no one had heard of before or heard of since? Yeah, apparently they make good music, too. Who knew? I once heard a rumor that The Cardigans hate Love Fool and refuse to play it at their concerts.
Saving My Face by KT Tunstall
I once asked the VP of Music Acquisition for Mike Mix Productions how he found all of the music he uses. I figured he would have mentioned some hip online site, or maybe iTunes. His answer? "I go to CD stores like HMV or Music World and listen to the CDs they have at their listening stations. If I likes it, I buys it." KT Tunstall is a Music World discovery.
Quand Je R'garde by Les Cowboys Fringants
Yeah, that's right. There's French on this one. Les Cowboys Fringants normally have a male lead singer, but for this song, the woman (or chick) in the band sang lead vocals. If my high school French isn't malfunctioning, the title translates to "When I see." As for the rest of the song, she's singing way too fast for me to know what she's saying. I think I heard something about the sun in there.
Follow Me Down by Ladies of the Canyon
One would not use the words "country music fan" to describe me. I'm all about the alternative rock. There are, however, exceptions. Usually, if I listen to country music, it's alt country, like The Be Good Tanyas, or my cousin Mark Everett's stuff. "Follow Me Down" flirts with the line between alt country and mainstream country. I like it anyway. Nice harmony.
Past In Present by Feist
When Feist is good, she's great. When she's not good, she's dreadfully boring. "Past In Present" is one of the great ones. I just wish there was a video to go with this song that showed her dancing. She's a terrible dancer, and I love it.
A Thousand Tiny Pieces by The Be Good Tanyas
Yeah, this is more like it. Alt country! I love this song. What can I say? I'm a sucker for all female harmony. Thanks Mike Mix!
Help I'm Alive by Metric
So Emily Haines makes another appearance, but this time with the rest of Metric, so I guess it can be forgiven. Mike Mix must have had a hard time deciding which Metric song to use, because they acquired four Metric albums since the last Chick Mix. I was kind of hoping for Hustle Rose or Rock Me Now, but Help I'm Alive is good, too.
And there you have it! See you in 2017, Chick Mix IV!